Earwigs are small (less than an inch long) insects with large pincers at the ends of their bodies. These pincers are not dangerous to humans, and are primarily used to “battle” other earwigs. Contrary to the myths, earwigs do not burrow into human ears. They prefer moist environments, like wet soil in gardens or under home foundations. Earwigs eat decaying matter and occasionally small plants. You will often find them feeding ( and living) in compost piles, layers of wet leaves, mulch and areas with algae, mold and fungo.
For the most part, earwigs are nocturnal, coming out at night to eat and move around. Curiously, they are also attracted to lights during the night, and will gather around torchlights and patios in the summer. Earwigs cannot survive in household environments for very long, and usually only venture inside for food or to escape bad weather.
Keeping a clean yard is paramount to preventing earwigs(and other pests). Clean up piles of wood, leaves and garbage, and keep a “dry moat” around the perimeter of the house – this means keeping that area free of mulch, dead leaves, rotting wood, and moist shrubs.
ARE EARWIGS HARMFUL TO PEOPLE OR PETS?
No. Yes they did get their name from an old folklore about them burrowing in the ears of people while they are sleeping, but that is exactly what it is a myth. Earwigs actually do more damage to your gardens and plants than they do to people or pets. Even though they are harmless to humans, some species are known to emit an offensive odor if threatened or squashed.
WHAT IS THE LIFE CYCLE OF AN EARWIG?
Earwigs have a simplified metamorphosis in which they transfer from eggs to nymphs and then adults in about 70 days. After autumn mating, female earwigs cay up to 80 small, whitish eggs in the top layer of soil where they spend the winter. Female earwigs can live longer than a year which is a long life span for an insects. The male on the other hand typically die off in the winter or early spring after they have satisfied their procreation duties.
DO EARWIGS FLY?
Some do. Most species of earwigs have wings but they do not all fly. The ones that do fly though are not the most agile fliers. The wings are not as efficient as a house fly for example and they only fly in short burst.
CAN AN INFESTATION OF EARWIGS BE RESOLVED?
Yes, by following our recommendations and staying on a quarterly plan McGrath Pest Control has been very successful over the years in controlling and eliminating any type of earwig infestation that may occur.
Please call or email today to get more information and to set up an appointment. 281-469-8240